El Dia de los Muertos

Students celebrate Hispanic traditions

While many students got wrapped up in Halloween festivities, others were excited to participate in the Mexican holiday that honors those who have passed.

Ferris’ Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS), Hispanic Student Organization (HSO), Center of Latin@ Studies (CLS) and the Spanish club co-sponsored el Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the West Campus Community Center 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2.

“This holiday is important because it helps people to remember those they’ve lost in the past and it brings them together in their suffering and allows them to bond,” said Ferris education senior Trevor Crampton.

Although most commonly celebrated in Mexico, the holiday is also celebrated in Guatemala and Honduras. However, it is not celebrated in other Hispanic countries, according to Professor Ana Davila-Howard.

“Instead of wearing costumes like here on Halloween, they paint their faces white like skulls,” Davila-Howard said. “Women can dress in pretty clothes but their faces as calaveras, as skulls.”

Students who attended the event were able to eat authentic food, drink hot chocolate, create paper flowers, color, construct papeles picados and even practice their Spanish speaking skills with the Spanish professors.

“I like the crafts, the crafts are always fun,” said Ferris English junior Shelby Klump. “It’s just good meeting all the people that may not be in your section of Spanish or in your class or what-not. You’re all together for one event, so it’s nice, you get to kind of connect and meet.”

Many students attended the event for extra credit or as a class requirement, however many also found great enjoyment in the event and non-Spanish students were welcome to attend.

“I like seeing people come together and participate in something that broadens our horizons,” Crampton said.

El Día de los Muertos always begins Nov. 1, and ends on Nov. 2. Authentic celebrations of el Día de los Muertos involve building altars dedicated to their deceased relatives and visiting their graves with the deceased favorite foods, toys and clothing according to Davila-Howard.

“They’re very respectful of their ancestors and so it’s kind of a way to honor those who died and have a moment to remember them all,” Klump said.

Despite the remorseful connotations that typically come with remembering the deceased, el Día de los Muertos is a joyous celebration that can be considered a party to celebrate and appreciate the lives of those who have passed away.